“Pah! You’ve never had such adventure. How do you expect to write about space warriors or musketmen if you’ve never been one?” He leans over a bit and lights a pipe, but as he puffs the smoke has no scent. He’s not exactly real. He’s a figment, a muse.
Or so he’s led me to believe. Otherwise this smoke crap’s going to make me sick one day.
I type with nimble fingers despite his prodding. “If you’re such a stone-cold killer, why don’t you tell me how to write this? Get through this battle scene so I can go on with the politics I’m better at?”
“I will! I am your muse, after all. I’m also better at politics than you, so you can rely on me to help with that.” He clears his throat, straightens his bow tie, and puffs on his pipe. “Now, let me point you to…
Author’s Note: Diana at Mythos of the Mirror has a new prompt: Meet The Muse! The rules are simple. Post a conversation with your muse on your blog and then leave a link to your post in the comment section of Diana’s post here. There is no word limit. Just keep it family friendly and have fun!
This week, D. Wallace Peach of Myths of the Mirror challenged her readers to write about their muses. She has many, all with distinct personalities, and the one who appeared to her cut quite an imposing figure. My muse, on the other hand, isn’t corporeal, doesn’t have a name, and annoys the hell out of me.
Cue frenetic electric guitar.
A screaming howl rising to a crescendo.
I can’t stand it, I know you planned it…
Me (groggy): What the f*ck…?
Me: Why are you making me listen to Sabotage at 3 o’clock in the morning?!
Muse: You weren’t asleep anyway. You had an idea and you need to write it down.
Me: No, it’s fine. I’ll remember it in the morning.
Muse: No you won’t. Write it down.
Me: It was only two damned lines. I’ll remember it. Muse: That’s what you said last time. Then you…
Diana Peach at Myths Of The Mirror has prompted us to write about our muse. But what if…
It had been a heck of a day. So many interruptions, but finally I’d settled down to write. That’s when the door bell went.
Mumbling ‘not another bloody parcel,’ I opened the door.
Two men, vaguely familiar in so far as the ski slope nose on one and the beetled brows on the other seemed to chime with some memory, stood, hands lightly clasped in front like mourners at a funeral.
‘Hello? Can I…?’
‘…‘Elp? I should think so, wouldn’t you Johnson?’
‘Hindeed, Johnston I would think so.’
Not sure where this was going I thought I’d wait. They could have been brothers, similar builds, and round faces. Or it might have been the matching dark suits, white shirts and sober ties. There was something rather creepy about…’
Diana Peach from Myths of the Mirror has kindly opened her blog to guests with a challenge to write a short story about your muse. Here’s mine:
“It’s your turn.”
I nod absently and continue staring at the board as though the answer is going to appear any time and if I look away for even a millisecond it’ll be gone forever. “I know, just give me a minute, will you?”
“A minute wouldn’t be bad. You’ve been in this exact same place for days now. How do you expect to get anywhere by staring into space?”
He doesn’t understand. It’s not that easy to catch the right word, line, paragraph before it disappears into the ether. “Brilliance takes time,” I tell him.
He snorts. “Pardon me, I didn’t realize you had such high aspirations. Still, you’re not get any younger–“
I took a deep breath. The smell of new electronics hung in the air, giving me some inspiration. My fingers reached down. A modern synth-string sound emanated from the studio speakers. Yes, modern, and yet the strings had a certain sizzle that spoke of the late 1970s. I had spent over an hour getting the sound just how I wanted it.
I listened closely, with my body as much as my ears.
My fingers changed position on their own, so I had a G in the bass. My left hand was also playing a D, with a Bb, D, F and A in the right hand. The smoldering G minor 9th chord just oozed that downtown, cool jazzy feeling. You know the one.
I shifted, without thinking to B Major 7. Yeah, a quick pivot on the Bb/A#. It felt right, and better yet, with that sizzling string…
I’m reading a page-turner in my writing room when I hear conversations below me in the muddy track called “my driveway.” Nobody ever ventures up this mountain besides the solitary UPS driver, and this sounds like a crowd. I peek out the window.
Muses. Lots of muses. What the…?
They fall silent and, as one, swivel to stare at me. Expectant. It appears a decision has been made.
One of them breaks from the pack, and I can’t help but groan. The Mercenary Muse (once subcontracted by my Bossy Muse) starts up the rain-slick stairs.
I open the door and look up, way up. The muse is a hulk, and he smells like a battlefield after a month long campaign. He bares his teeth in a sneer as if I’m the one who needs a shower.
“Where’s my regular muse?” I ask.
“In the ocean.” He tracks muddy prints on my floor and sits on a granite throne that appears in front of my couch. “She’s trying out your next book.”
“Oh really?” I arch my eyebrow and get a little huffy. “You’d think the author would have a say in the next story. What is she, a pirate or a mermaid?”
“A sea witch.” His grin is disturbing, though not as horrifying as his skimpy little outfit. I wish he’d close his legs. Yeesh. “I’m the Ferryman,” he adds.
My eyes snap up, and I blurt out a laugh. “Oh, no, you’re not.”
“Don’t defy a muse.” He glowers through the warning. “I am the Ferryman.”
“Gah!” I lean into his face, nose to crooked nose, angry enough to risk his breath. “No chance, big guy, not unless you submit to a complete makeover. Otherwise, forget it.”
“You’re the author.” He settles back in this throne with a smug smile and picks something from his teeth.
I wrinkle my face and cross my arms like a petulant… author. A Ferryman? And a Sea Witch? Am I actually considering this? I want to throw up but change the subject instead, “So, who are those muses, and what do they want? Don’t tell me they want scenes in the next book.”
He grunts to the negative. “They want some publicity for their authors, and I told them you’d help.”
My eyes narrow. “How?”
The brute leans forward, elbows on his knees. I’m tempted to hand him a toothbrush and bottle of mouthwash. He ignores my grimace. “They’re going to have conversations with their writers, and you’re going to reblog the posts.”
I tap a finger on my lower lip, considering the idea. The last time my blog friends joined in was a blast. And wonderfully creative.
I extend my hand. “Agreed.” We grasp each other’s forearms like warriors, and I squeak as my bones grate together.
“Agreed.” He lets go and heads for the door. “And I want your plot outlined by the end of the month.”
“But… but I’m not done with my reading challenge and now…”
If looks could squash me like a bug, I’d be plastered to the wall. He stomps down the stairs and joins the other muses. His throne fades away, and I peer out the window as the crowd disperses into the rain. I better get a post ready.
Here are the rules:
Post a conversation with your muse on your blog and link back to this post or leave a link in the comments. Don’t have a muse? Just open the door and see who shows up.
No word-limit and keep it family friendly. Include an image of your muse if you’re inclined (with respect for copyrights, please). I’ll reblog all posts received before December 1st. Thanks for playing… Meet the Muse!